Assemblies in a synagogue in Brisbane were confronted on Saturday with the sight of a Nazi flag waving from a nearby apartment window.
Visitors to the synagogue reported seeing the swastika symbol hanging from a UniLodge complex on Margaret Street in the Central Business District on Saturday morning, said Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies Vice President Jason Steinberg.
“That flag and the symbol, the Nazi swastika symbol, represent one of the most vicious moments in human history,” Steinberg said Saturday. “Appearing in 2021 in Brisbane over a synagogue is just cruel.”
Queensland police confirmed they went to the apartment, seized the flag and issued the resident a notice to show up for public nuisance.
Steinberg, however, wants state laws to be changed to make it clear that the symbol is unacceptable.
“The state parliament is reviewing the hate crime legislation as we speak,” he said. “We called for a ban on displaying swastikas and Nazi flags like this because at the moment … it does not violate the serious law of hatred or slander.”
The mayor of Brisbane, Adrian Schrinner, described the display as “sickly”.
Queensland’s multicultural affairs minister, Leanne Linard, said the action was “shameful”.
“It’s not who we are as Queenslanders and should be called out on every occasion,” she wrote on Facebook on Saturday.
On November 9, the Jewish community commemorates the Crystal Night, or the Night with the Broken Glass, in 1938.
Nazis flew with their flags in German streets and smashed synagogue windows on a violent night that effectively marked the beginning of the Holocaust, Steinberg said.